Fife Council has been awarded £205,000 from the Scottish Government’s Employability Innovation and Integration Fund to support local people with mental health issues into work and training.
The programme “Delivering Differently” for mental health and employment, has been developed in partnership by the Opportunities Fife and Health and Social Care Partnerships, will work with strategic partners to support people in Fife who are experiencing mental health issues. It will develop an integrated, joined-up approach, with the goal of more than doubling the number of people supported into healthy, sustainable employment from this target group.
The project will provide strategic direction to better align employability support and skills training for those experiencing mental health issues.
The project will empower people with mental health issues by placing them at the heart of their own journey into work. It will ensure that they have the opportunity to build the skills, resilience and support to access and stay in employment, at a pace to suit their needs.
Cllr Altany Craik, Convener – Economy, Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “Some 43% of people in Fife claiming benefits do so because of a mental health condition. Through this funding, we can deliver better joined support to help these residents access and stay in work. Working with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership this model will change how we deliver services to people with mental health issues for the economic, health and social benefit for all of the Kingdom.”
Simon Little, Chair of Fife’s Health and Social Care Integration Board, said: “We welcome this new funding to help support people with mental health problems into employment. We know that people with mental health problems experience a number of barriers to getting into, and staying in work. This funding will give the opportunity to pilot innovative approaches to support these clients, that will influence and direct the commissioning of Fife’s employability programmes going forward.
“With the right support, people with mental health problems can and do make a valuable contribution in the workplace and that this can be a positive step in their recovery. We also encourage more Fife employers to take on people with mental health problems, make adjustments to help them stay in work, and promote good mental health.”
The Scottish Government is providing £2.5m to fund some 13 initiatives that aim to increase employment support by linking up with health and social care, justice service and housing. The projects cover 15 local authority areas, with the money coming from the Employment Innovation and Integration Fund.